Scientific contributions bring UH more than attention
Many are aware of the UH’s rise within the scientific community, given its recently-acclaimed Tier One research status, but the University is gaining more than national recognition. Products developed in UH laboratories and brought out into the commercial market benefit the University through royalty income.
In 2008, the school received $1.1 million in royalty income, whereas this year, the school has brought in $16.6 million.
According to the Annual Report on Extramural Funding and Technology Commercialization prepared by Rathindra Bose, vice chancellor for research and technology transfer, the University currently has 152 products of intellectual property in the commercial sector and 159 more in the process of reaching the market.
“There is tremendous value of taking technology out from the laboratory and into the marketplace where it can provide societal benefit,” Bose said. “These technologies from our faculty create new jobs that help our economic development. It is essential that UH support our faculty members to not only develop the technologies, but also to successfully market them.”
Some of the school’s notable developments include Vimpat, an anti-seizure drug that has been used to treat more than 200,000 patients, and a mobile, hand-held breast cancer monitoring device.
Recently, a program launched by Bose and the UH Standing Committee on Intellectual Property has been able to assist UH research by investing in research teams through grants and helping them commercialize their products.
Three out of 12 research faculty members who applied for grants from UH’s Technology Gap Fund were awarded with one each.
Vincent Tam, a professor at the Department of Clinical Sciences and Administration, is working on developing new antibiotics in pharmacology.
Jarek Wosik, a research professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH, is focusing on commercializing a new high-temperature superconducting technology that will create higher-quality images in shorter processing times via MRI machines.
George Zouridakis, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, is constructing a smartphone application that can quickly scan skin lesions and determine if they are cancerous.
Zouridakis is using part of the grant to develop a framework for his application that can be adapted by similar applications, while Tam says the grant has helped his team “generate pivotal proof-of-concept data,” which will influence the commercialization of the product.